Missouri’s Soybean Farmers Partner with Schillinger Genetics, Inc. on Non-GMO High Oleic
The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council’s efforts to grow farmers’ return on their soy checkoff investments have taken another leap forward. The leaders of Missouri’s premier organization for soybean research formalized a key partnership to bring Missouri’s non-GMO high oleic soybean technology to growers. The agreement, signed and recognized today with a ceremony at the Bay Farm Research Facility outside Columbia, grants John Schillinger and Schillinger Genetics, Inc. (SGI) a license to commercialize not only the emerging high oleic soybean technology traits, but also to breed soybean varieties combining high oleic with low linolenic soybean oil traits. The agreement represents the first licenses granted to commercialize this technology.
“Bringing new soybean varieties and trait technologies to growers is at the heart of our research program,” said John Kelley, a farmer from Faucett and chairman of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. “Partnerships are key to bringing growers the best return on their investments in the soy checkoff, and we’re proud to be taking this step forward in helping farmers improve their bottom line by adding value to commodity soybeans.”
The partnership agreement includes licenses for breeding soybean varieties with the high oleic technology, as well as to facilitate a seed increase program and sell the varieties scaled up through that increase program within the United States and Canada. The licenses are non-exclusive and non-sub licensable.
Farmers interested in purchasing soybean varieties from the program will be able to recognize those seed beans through patent numbers and logos. All packages of commercial seed developed through this license agreement will be marked with patent numbers 9,035,129 or 9,198,365, and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council’s logo.
“We believe strongly in the potential of high oleic soybean oil,” said John Schillinger, president and founder of SGI. “SGI is investing in development of high oleic soybean varieties for US soybean producers, and our pipeline includes highly promising varieties of maturity groups 0 to V, and this partnership stands to expand that work.”
Test plots demonstrating the potential of these soybean varieties are in place for 2017 throughout the Midwest, and include trials in southeastern Missouri. Trial results will be available to Missouri soybean farmers after harvest. Seed from two high oleic varieties with maturity groups of III and IV is being produced for 2018 commercialization.
“Second and third year yield tests of high oleic experimental lines are being conducted in 2017 from North Dakota to Arkansas,” Schillinger said. “Small seed increases of purified seed and lines confirmed for high oleic (79-85%), low linolenic (1-2.5%) and saturates (8.5-10.5%) are also being completed in 2017. High oleic varieties from SGI research program will enter the US market in 2019 for several maturities.”
Schillinger Genetics, Inc.,an Iowa-based company, is a leader in breeding soybean varieties for the food market. John Schillinger and his company have a strong focus on growing demand for non-GMO food products, and on the opportunities available to farmers by moving from a commodity marketing model to one built on added value within products.
High oleic technology is an advancement in the soybean market that gives soybean oil greater potential for uses like baking, frying and sautéing in both commercial and home kitchens. Low linolenic soybean oil, likewise offers improved stability.
Research is one of the top priority areas for the farmer leaders of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council when investing soybean checkoff dollars each year. Proceeds from the sale of soybean varieties developed through the research program are reinvested into soybean research, and when these varieties become available in the marketplace, growers will also likely benefit from a lower cost per unit as compared to similar seed options.
The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council board of directors and staff continue exploring opportunities for additional soybean research and breeding partnerships, as well as additional license agreements. Those partnerships will be announced as they are finalized. To learn more about the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and efforts to improve farmers’ bottom line through wise investment of the soy checkoff, explore mosoy.org.